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Public Statements

Letter to John Kerry, Secretary of State - Detail Status of Four State Department Employees Cited in Benghazi Report

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with 14 other Members of the Committee, called on Secretary of State John Kerry to detail what personnel actions the State Department has taken regarding the four Department employees who were cited by the Accountability Review Board (ARB) for displaying "leadership and management deficiencies" that led to the grossly inadequate security at the diplomatic facility in Benghazi last year, before the deadly terrorist attacks that killed four Americans.

In a letter to Kerry today, Royce and the other Members wrote: "When appearing before the Committee on April 17, 2013, you testified that you would soon be weighing in on an "internal review and analysis" of the performance of these individuals with respect to their handling of security issues. Now that over one month has passed since your testimony, and over a full five months have passed since the ARB issued its report, we expect an immediate update on this process, and confirmation as to whether the referenced personnel are still employed by the Department."

The text of the letter follows:

May 28, 2013

The Honorable John F. Kerry

Secretary of State

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you know, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has been investigating the circumstances surrounding the deadly terrorist attacks that occurred last September 11th in Benghazi, Libya. As part of our inquiry, Committee Members have repeatedly asked the State Department to explain the employment status of certain Department personnel who were cited by the Accountability Review Board (ARB) for displaying "leadership and management deficiencies" that led to the inadequate security in Benghazi.

Initial reports indicated that these officials were "relieved of their duties," thus implying their employment had been terminated. However, by all accounts, these individuals have instead been placed on administrative leave and may or may not be returning to work. Moreover, at least one of these individuals has stated that he has still not been informed of why he was removed from his position within the Department, or been allowed to view the ARB's conclusions with respect to his job performance. The Department's handling of these matters is of great concern to the Committee, other Members of Congress, and the public.

When appearing before the Committee on April 17, 2013, you testified that you would soon be weighing in on an "internal review and analysis" of the performance of these individuals with respect to their handling of security issues. Now that over one month has passed since your testimony, and over a full five months have passed since the ARB issued its report, we expect an immediate update on this process, and confirmation as to whether the referenced personnel are still employed by the Department.

Additionally, if these officials are still employed but on administrative leave, please describe what steps the Department has taken to resolve the issue of their employment status. Please also provide a detailed account of any action taken by these officials to challenge the findings of the ARB report, including their basis for doing so. Lastly, if any of these individuals are no longer employed by the Department, please provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances leading to the termination of their employment.

Given the importance of improving embassy security through greater accountability, we ask that you give this matter your prompt attention. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

EDWARD R. ROYCE

Chairman

MICHAEL T. MCCAUL

Member of Congress

TED POE

Chairman

Subcommittee on Terrorism,
Nonproliferation, and Trade

MATT SALMON

Chairman

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

ADAM KINZINGER

Member of Congress

TOM COTTON

Member of Congress

GEORGE HOLDING

Member of Congress

RANDY K. WEBER SR.

Member of Congress

SCOTT PERRY

Member of Congress

RON DESANTIS

Member of Congress

TREY RADEL

Member of Congress

DOUG COLLINS

Member of Congress

MARK MEADOWS

Member of Congress

TED S. YOHO

Member of Congress

LUKE MESSER

Member of Congress

You can also view the letter in PDF format below:
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/sites/republicans.foreignaffairs.house.gov/files/05.29.13%20-%20State%20Dept%2C%20Sec.%20Kerry%2C%20Status%20of%20ARB-cited%20employees%2C%20Kahan.pdf


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